In her new book, , designer Bloom Wild Bari J. Ackerman presents modern florals bursting with color — bringing energy and joy to interior design. Even designers Justina Blakeney and Anne Sage are fans of Bari’s maximalist approach! Along with easy DIYs, advice on staying within budget and detailed source lists, Bari shows how to achieve a curated, layered ﬂoral look that will lift the mood of the whole house: just what we are craving for spring.
In this formal dining room, Bari mixes and matches for eclectic results. “I made placemats from a rich, lushly patterned paper, then layered on napkins in a complementary color,” she says. “The floral napkins have a pattern that is slightly larger and airier than the pattern on the placemats.” The basket chargers and vintage glassware add interesting textures to the arrangement, while modern flatware offers a fresh look.
When Bari’s daughter left for college, she erased her teenage graffiti (with her permission) and drew a wall of colorful florals. Although they look sophisticated, DIY chalk flowers are surprisingly easy to draw, according to Bari. “And they are not just for bedrooms — try them as an easy update for the walls of kitchens and pantries, too,” she says. “You might even chalk paint a dull closet door and make it a feature of the room.”
An overscaled floral print rug and grass-green sideboard make this dining area feel like a day in the park. A casually propped painting of flowers nestled between the real thing makes this vignette seem natural, while a grouping of herb boxes on the wall serve as rustic mini planters.
Pillows create a boho look outdoors. “My recipe includes the following ingredients: fringe, tassels, pom-poms, embroidery, hand stitching, a bit of patchwork and a mix of old and new fabrics,” says Bari. To transform pillows, she suggests adding tassels to the corners or all the way around, and embellish with stitching for a handcrafted look.
This outdoor scene can be replicated indoors as well. Surround a large coffee table with floor pillows, and then scatter in a few throws, making sure tassels, fringe and pom-poms abound. “In my view, this combination makes a great setup for a teen lounge or college apartment,” she says. “Details such as hand stitching, tassels, fringe and lace suggest old-world bohemian style.”
“When it comes to parties, I love to add cozy pillows to conversation spaces, and I had these velvet seat cushions,” says Bari. “When not entertaining, I store everything in large canvas bags in the garage for easy access. If you’re looking for something more permanent be sure to choose fabrics rated for outdoor use.”
A pretty china vase of white peonies freshens up a floral tablescape. Here are some staples Bari keeps on hand for setting a table: apothecary jars; vintage tins and glass bottles; wooden bowls and trays; glass cloches; cake stands; cheesecloth (this affordable textile can be dyed and casually rumpled across a table for a fun element) and fabric. Bari suggests layering raw-edged unhemmed fabric on a table and fraying the edges for a worn look.
Author: Wendy Jacob
Carley Page Summers
by Bari J. Ackerman, Abrams, 2020 Bloom Wild